Stories tagged mumps

Apr
14
2006

Mumps outbreak concerns U.S. health officials

Some 515 cases (of mumps) have been reported in Iowa, plus 43 in Nebraska, 33 in Kansas, and single digits in Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

"Why Iowa, and why now? We really don't know," said William Bellini of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. "There are a lot of unknowns." Officials speculate that the epidemic might have been set off by someone from Britain, which has been experiencing a large mumps outbreak for several years.

Experts hope the relatively high U.S. vaccination rates will contain the outbreak. The tens of thousands of cases in Britain have been blamed on problems with that country's vaccination program, and concerns among some parents that childhood vaccines may increase the risk of autism, which left a significant proportion of the population unvaccinated.   (from San Francisco Chronicle)

Of the 245 patients this year, at least 66 percent had had the recommended two-shot vaccination, while 14 percent had received one dose, the Public Health Department said.

"The vaccine is working," Quinlisk said. "The vaccine certainly was made to cover this particular strain, because it's a fairly common strain of mumps." Quinlisk said the vaccine overall is considered about 95 percent effective.  (from Yahoo News)

Information about mumps by Mayo Clinic Staff

The mumps virus spreads easily from person to person through infected saliva. A person is considered contagious from three days before symptoms appear to about four days after. In general, you're considered immune to mumps if you've previously had the infection or if you've been immunized against mumps.

To stop the spread of the disease, those with mumps should not return to child care, school or work until five days after symptoms began or until they are well, whichever is longer. Individuals with known exposure to someone with mumps should have their immunization status checked. Those who have not received two doses of the MMR vaccine should be vaccinated.

Complications of mumps are rare but include:

  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Hearing loss
  • Inflammation of the testicles (orchitis)
  • Inflammation of the ovaries

In addition, mumps infection in the first trimester of pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage.

If you have unexplained swelling in your jaw and neck, or you have these symptoms after a known exposure to someone who has the mumps, call your doctor promptly.    by Mayo Clinic Staff

Want updates or have questions

Since the first report of mumps to IDPH, the state health department has monitored, communicated and educated health care providers and the public about the increase in numbers of cases. Mumps resources, including twice-weekly case updates, can be viewed on IDPH's Web site.

The Iowa Department of Public Health answers freqently asked questions about mumps here.

Mumps information in Wikipedia